Press should correct health misinformation

A letter to The Aspen Times that misstated a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report as saying only 9,684 deaths were caused solely by COVID-19 should have been labeled disinformation and corrected by The Aspen Times editorial board.

Although a letter to the editor is only an opinion, rightly protected by the First Amendment, the editorial board has a moral and ethical duty not to allow misinformation about the pandemic to go unnoted.

In fact, 94% of the 161,392 COVID-19 victims died with complicating health conditions that made them more vulnerable.

The CDC’s report of 161,392 COVID-19 caused deaths so far, “really did reflect the reality,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top immunological doc, said on “Good Morning America.” A host of respected medical experts across the U.S.A. have said the same thing in the press and on television interviews.

So why would Maurice Emmer and many other extreme right-wing commentators try to turn the numbers upside down and inside out?

Because by downplaying the massive amounts of illness, death and economic destruction that the novel virus has and is causing, they hope to divert the electorate from holding President Trump and his complicit Republicans accountable on Nov. 2.

Emmer is willing to put the health of his community at risk with an assault on scientific medicine, but the Times does not have to be complicit.

The Times has a community obligation to label and correct all pandemic health misinformation.

Bernie Grauer